Facial Covering Guidance

Facial Covering Guidance
Posted on 08/20/2021
Message from the School District of Palm Beach CountyAs part of the District’s commitment to keeping you as informed as possible, this message is a follow-up to an email that you received earlier today regarding facial coverings.

Out of an abundance of caution, and in a profound effort to mitigate the rapidly rising COVID-19 positivity rate in our community and on our campuses, School Board members approved Policy 5.326 Student Protocols due to COVID-19, making facial coverings mandatory for students in District-operated schools.

The current policy will remain in place for up to 90 days. However, the Board will periodically reassess the policy.

Parents and Guardians, please be assured that the District recognizes that there are strong emotions and beliefs on both sides of the facial covering issue. The decision to make masks mandatory is solely based on the health and safety of our students and staff and taking action that the Board believes will mitigate transmission of the easily communicable COVID-19 Delta variant among children and adults.

The Student Protocols due to COVID-19 Policy take effect on Monday, August 23, 2021. Opt-out letters previously submitted by parents and guardians will no longer be honored.

The only exception to this facial covering requirement is for students with ADA or 504 Plan accommodations. If your child requires an exemption from the mask requirement due to a documented disability, please submit a request for an accommodation along with a note from a treating licensed medical physician documenting the need for the requested accommodation to the school’s 504 coordinator.

As our goal is to meet the individual needs of all students, once letters are received by the school from the child’s treating physician, the District will coordinate a meeting as soon as possible to consider a facial covering exemption as an accommodation based on the medical information provided and any additional relevant information. Our goal is to complete this process and meet with parents and guardians in a timely manner.

If your child has an exemption from wearing a facial covering from the 2020-2021 school year on record, the students will remain eligible for the exemption for the 2021-2022 school year.

At this time, all other students are expected to adhere to the facial covering requirement while on District transportation and indoors on District property. Facial coverings are not required while outside.

Principals and staff will continue to promote school-wide positive behavior support as we establish facial covering compliance.

While we understand the hesitancy of some students to comply, we must make every effort to attain compliance and drastically decrease direct exposure to the virus. If students choose to not comply, the school will follow guidelines defined in the Student Code of Conduct: Policy 5.1812 (K-5) and Policy 5.1813 (6-12).

Thank you for your continued partnership in education while maintaining safety and security in our schools and community.
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